Uganda A completed a dominant performance in the inaugural Africa Online Chess League by winning the title.
The side consisting of FM Harold Wanyama [team captain], FM Patrick Kawuma, Walter Okas, David Muwanguzi and IM Elijah Emojong ended the league unbeaten, posting a record 21 victories and drawing just five times.
Wanyama and his teammates won the league with 68 points, 15 more than the second best team which was Uganda B. with exception of Uganda C that managed only eight wins and ended the league placed eighth, Ugandan teams proved dominant in a field that had some of the African heavy weights.
“The Africa Chess League was a big success. We had 26 rounds in total and Uganda A was untouchable from the start until the end.” Bruce Mubayiwa the architect of the league acknowledged the champions’ superiority.
Tipped to triumph at the start of the league, Nigeria A settled for a third place finish with 51 points. The Nigerians were toe-to-toe with Uganda A at the start of the season only to lose momentum and eventually finishing third, 17 points adrift of the top.
The other two Nigerian teams- Nigeria B and Nigeria D came fifth and sixth respectively.
The league was mainly undermined by the numerous walkovers, and Zambian teams were culprits here habitually dishonoring fixtures.
“We did have our challenges including walkovers or defaults due to non-availability of some teams, but the Africa Chess League is an example of what can be possible when African countries come together.” Mubayiwa, who urged more African countries to come on board said.
Only six countries viz. Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe took part in this edition. Each country had at least two teams represent aside from South Africa.
Despite having only one representative, South Africa was well represented, with RSA Juniors finishing fourth with 47 points.
Namibian teams A and B were seventh and tenth respectively while Zimbabwe sides finished ninth [Zimbabwe A] and eleventh [Zimbabwe D].
Owing to the fact that Zambian teams- Zambia A and Zambia B- frequently gave out walkovers, they ended the league stationed at the foot of the table, with Zambia B rooted to the bottom